Commenting


Image by ehavir via Flickr

If you know me, you know that I’m never short of an opinion.  Perhaps that’s one of the reasons why I enjoy blogging so much.  Even from my first days online when I hosted my own Bulletin Board System (anyone remember Essex Wildcat!), I always enjoyed a good discussion or debate.

But, in the blogging world, I’ve generally taken a hands-off approach to my own blog.  My logic is that I’ve blogged and tried to put my thoughts on the line and open it up for people to agree or disagree and follow up as they see fit.

Yesterday, I read this article entitled “5 Reasons Why You Should Answer Your Readers’ Comments“.  It got me thinking.  Have I taken the wrong approach?  I’m trying to get my head around the issue.  It really came to a head when I got a Twitter message from a friend letting me know that she had replied to my blog.  Is that a wakeup call that she didn’t think that I read my blog after the original post?  (Nothing is further from the truth; replies are in fact emailed to me…)

So, here’s my thinking…

Comment:

  • Get in there and participate;
  • Continue the discussion;
  • Let people know that their comment was acknowledged and valued;
  • Take the original idea in new directions;
  • The post and its replies are a community discussion that I need to be part of;
  • It might attract more readers.

Don’t Comment:

  • You’ve made your point in the original post;
  • If your post was any good, it shouldn’t need further clarification;
  • It can be annoying to have every other comment from you;
  • Replies are typically shorter than the original post and may not be as effective;
  • The post is about me – the replies are about the readers.

It’s a concept where I can clearly see both sides of the fence.  If you’re a blogger or a blog reader, where do you stand?  Where should I go with this?

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7 thoughts on “Commenting

  1. Susan Young says:

    Well, this one clearly requires a comment.

    I actually saw that someone had mentioned twice–same person–that a comment was made on your blog. This made ME wonder as well if this was the correct commenting etiquette. I wasn’t sure, but I had assumed myself that you’d be noting the comments. This made me stop and wonder.

    I also wasn’t sure if a twitter comment and retweet “counts” as much as a comment on the blog.

    I’ve done both.

    When I comment on a blog, I feel that the comment is something I could stand by for longer than the next convincing post. When I comment via twitter, I’m probably not as certain about my feelings or opinions on the issue, but feel the need to involve myself in the conversation.

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  2. Interesting take on your perspective of the difference between comments on a blog versus Twitter. That’s a great deal deeper than I’ve thought.

    As far as etiquette goes, I don’t think that there is any set of rules or protocols so you can pretty much design your own. I know that I appreciate hearing from you in either place. But, do you appreciate me jumping in to the conversation of my own blog?

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  3. I don’t reply to every comment left on my blog but I do reply fairly often. usually this is because someone leaves a comment that either brings up something I hadn’t thought of when I wrote the post or because they ask a question about something they were unclear of or because I left something out. I’m not as long winded as I could be. Well, ok, sometimes I am very long windeed but more so in face to face conversation than online. 🙂

    I also see conversation as a goal of blogging. I don’t get near as many comments as I would like to get so when I do get good comments I often feel like responding and trying to keep a conversation moving is a good idea.

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  4. Years into blogging, I still find myself struggling with this one, too. On my blog, Just Pure Lovely, which is an inspiration & creativity blog, I have a little community and enjoy talking with them, so tend to reply to each comment. I used to wonder if I should email the commenter, but have taken to replying to “all”, which posts my comment on my blog. I do find it a little disconcerting that every other comment is mine.

    On Freely Educate, I tend to email the commenter AND post the reply on the blog, as I don’t get many comments on that blog, so when I do, it’s generally a “How do I….” question, for which I want the person to receive the answer.

    Looks like you’re going to feel you need to comment to the comments on this post! 😉

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  5. Well, I’m trying it out to see how it feels. It still doesn’t feel quite right to respond to replies but I’ve been wrong so many time before. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Now that you have, people may be inspired to check out Freely Educate and may just find some real gems there.

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